Millions march in Spain and Greece as crisis spreads through Europe

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THE explosion of youth unemployment across Yorkshire is mirrored across Britain and beyond, threatening to become the defining issue of a desperate age in collapsing European economies.

In Yorkshire there are now just over 50,000 young people on the dole, part of an estimated 100,000 18 to 24-year-olds classing themselves as unemployed.

Across the UK the figure stretches to over a million - 20 per cent of the nation’s young people.

Similar crisis levels of youth unemployment are currently being experienced in France, Sweden, Poland, Ireland and Italy, where one in five young people are all out of work.

But the picture is bleaker still in Europe’s two most devastated economies, Greece and Spain, with more than half of young people now unemployed.

There have been mass protests in both countries as the best-educated generation of young people either nation has ever produced finds there are few opportunities for work after they leave university.

“These people are delaying their advance into adulthood,” said Sara Elder, an economist with the International Labour Organisation. “It’s a very scary time for young people. They find the path that worked for their parents is not working for them.”

And despite youth unemployment rates passing 50 per cent in both Spain and Greece earlier this year, economists are warning there is little prospect of any improvement in the near future.